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Total Articles: 155

Labor Department Proposes Reversing Obama-Era ‘Tip-Pooling’ Rule

Employers would be expressly permitted to require servers and other tip-earning employees to share their tips with employees working in the kitchen and other “back of the house” employee, but only when the employer does not use the tip credit and state law would not otherwise prohibit the practice, under proposed regulations published by the Department of Labor (DOL). This is a reversal of the current DOL regulations, which would be rescinded.

How Is 2017 Like 1947?

Once upon a time, a seriously-alarmed legislature grew concerned that wage-hour claims and litigation had gotten out-of-hand.

Salary-Threshold Autopilot Still Possible

A BloombergBNA report suggests that the U.S. Department of Labor is seriously considering retaining the Obama Administration's procedure (or something like it) for automatic "updates" to the compensation thresholds specified in the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's Section 13(a)(1) exemption regulations. Apparently, U.S. Labor Secretary Acosta recently revealed this in closed-door remarks to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Department of Labor Files Appeal and Motion for Abeyance in Overtime Rule Litigation

There have been new developments in litigation over changes to regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) that specify which workers are eligible for overtime pay.4

Is This Appeal for Real? DOL Seeks Abeyance As It Formulates New Overtime Regulations

On November 3, 2017, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) filed a motion with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit asking the appellate court to hold in abeyance the DOL’s appeal of a district court decision that invalidated controversial federal overtime regulations promulgated by the Obama administration in 2016. The purpose of the motion is to hold off on any ruling in the case while the DOL under President Trump works on its own proposed overtime regulations.

eLABORate: DOL Seeks More Time to Rewrite Obama-Era Overtime Threshold for White-Collar Workers, May Be Open to Lower Threshold

On October 30, 2017, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) appealed an August 31, 2017 ruling by United States District Judge Amos Mazzant, III, which struck down a controversial Obama-era overtime rule that would have made as many as 4 million more workers eligible for overtime pay. The appeal – which is being accompanied by a request for a stay pending the issuance of a new overtime rule – appears to be an effort to protect the DOL’s authority to set a lower salary threshold for overtime exemption. While the Trump administration is no longer backing the Obama-era proposal to hike the overtime threshold to over $47,000, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta has signaled that he might be comfortable with a salary threshold in the low $30,000 range, to account for inflation since the rule’s last update in 2004.

USDOL Appeals Ruling Against Its "Overtime Rule" (Updated 10 31 17)

UPDATED 10 31 17: The U.S. Department of Labor has also announced its intention to "file a motion with the Fifth Circuit [U.S. Court of Appeals] to hold the appeal in abeyance while the Department of Labor undertakes further rulemaking to determine what the salary level should be."

Just When You Thought the DOL’s OT Rule Was Dead, It Lives to Fight Another Day

As my colleague Bill Pokorny reported back on August 31, a Texas District Court struck down the Obama Administration’s FLSA Overtime Exemption Rule, holding that the Department of Labor (DOL) exceeded its authority by increasing the minimum salary for the Executive, Administrative, and Professional Exemptions to $913 per week. In a (somewhat) surprise move, on October 30, the DOL notified the District Court that it would be appealing the August order.

WPI Wage Watch: Minimum Wage and Overtime Updates (October Edition)

As darkness falls across the land, the midnight hour is close[r] at hand for employers to revise their pay practices to ensure compliance with 2018 minimum wage rate changes. Hospitality industry employers may receive from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) a king-size treat, whereas entities may feel tricked by the Minnesota Department of Civil Rights’ interpretation of which employers are subject to the city’s minimum wage ordinance. Employers need not try to scream or start to freeze, because following is a thriller of an update concerning October minimum wage and overtime developments.

USDOL Appeals Ruling Against Its "Overtime Rule"

The U.S. Department of Labor has today filed a notice (link below) that it is appealing September's summary-judgment ruling against the compensation-related changes the agency sought to make in regulations defining the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's "white collar" exemptions.

Trick or Treat: DOL and Texas AFL-CIO File Appeal Notices in Overtime Lawsuit

On October 30, 2017, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the Texas AFL-CIO both filed Notices of Appeal in a highly-watched case involving the invalidation of controversial federal overtime regulations that had been scheduled to go into effect on December 1, 2016.

DOL Confirms New Overtime Rule Coming (Updated 10/31/2017)

The U.S. Department of Labor confirmed on October 30, 2017 that it intends to “undertake new rulemaking with regard to overtime.” While the DOL simultaneously filed an appeal of the district court order holding the prior overtime rule invalid, the DOL stated it intends to request that the Fifth Circuit “hold the appeal in abeyance while the Department of Labor undertakes further rulemaking to determine what the salary level should be,” according to the statement made by the DOL.

DOL Appeals Overtime Injunction

On behalf of the US Department of Labor (DOL), the US Department of Justice today appealed the permanent injunction invalidating the Obama administration's 2016 overtime rule.

Department of Labor Moves to Dismiss Appeal on Obama-Era Overtime Rule (UPDATED 9/7/2017)

As anticipated following last week’s decision by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, striking down the Department of Labor’s May 2016 Final Rule regarding the FLSA’s “white collar” overtime exemptions, the DOL has asked the Fifth Circuit to dismiss its appeal of the district court’s preliminary injunction invalidating the Rule last November. In a succinct, unopposed motion, the DOL noted that the district court’s final judgment rendered the preliminary injunction moot, citing established Fifth Circuit law for that proposition.

Department of Labor Moves to Dismiss Appeal on Obama-Era Overtime Rule

As anticipated following last week’s decision by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, striking down the Department of Labor’s May 2016 Final Rule regarding the FLSA’s “white collar” overtime exemptions, the DOL has asked the Fifth Circuit to dismiss its appeal of the district court’s preliminary injunction invalidating the Rule last November. In a succinct, unopposed motion, the DOL noted that the district court’s final judgment rendered the preliminary injunction moot, citing established Fifth Circuit law for that proposition.

Federal Court Invalidates New Overtime Rule

On August 31, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas granted summary judgment for a diverse coalition of 55 business groups, led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and joined by numerous state governments, challenging the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) redefinition of who qualifies as an exempt employee under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).1 The decision effectively nullifies the DOL rule in its entirety. Had the rule gone into effect, it would have more than doubled the minimum salary level for exempt white collar employees from $455 per week ($23,660 annually) to $913 per week ($47,476 annually).

Texas Federal Court Deals Yet Another Blow to USDOL's Overtime Rule (Updated 09 05 17)

UPDATED 09 05 17: The USDOL has submitted an unopposed motion for voluntary dismissal of the interlocutory appeal of the preliminary injunction.

Labor Department to Withdraw Overtime Appeal

As a result of the August 31 ruling by a federal district court judge invalidating highly controversial proposed revisions to federal overtime regulations, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), now has filed a motion with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit stating that it is dismissing the appeal of the preliminary injunction ruling issued by the same federal court judge earlier in the litigation.

Federal Court Declares DOL Overtime Rules Invalid

Executive Summary: Today, a federal District Court in Texas issued a decision declaring the Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) new overtime rules invalid and, therefore, permanently enjoining the implementation of these rules nationwide. This decision comes on the heels of a preliminary injunction issued by the same court in November 2016, halting the implementation of the new overtime rules, which were to have taken effect on December 1, 2016. Although the DOL had appealed the issuance of the preliminary injunction, this new development likely moots the pending appeal and will require President Trump and the DOL to reexamine their options going forward.

District Court Holds Overtime Rule Invalid; Is End of Obama-Era Rule Here?

The Department of Labor’s May 2016 Final Rule, which would have more than doubled the minimum salary necessary to satisfy the “executive, administrative or professional” (the “EAP” or “white collar”) overtime exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act, is invalid, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas has held. State of Nevada v. U.S. Dep’t of Labor, No. 4:16-CV-731, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140522 (E.D. Tex. Aug. 31, 2017). This cements the position the court took in granting a preliminary injunction against the DOL last November.

eLABORate: Federal Judge Rules Obama Administration's Expanded Overtime Rule Invalid

The same Texas federal judge who initially enjoined enforcement of the Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) controversial expanded overtime rule back in November 2016, ruled on August 31, 2017 in favor of business groups and states, finding that the DOL “exceeded its authority”, and that the Obama administration policy was “invalid.”

Next Nail In The Coffin: Overtime Rule Struck Down By Judge

A federal judge in Texas today struck down the controversial Obama-era change to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act that was intended to substantially raise the minimum salary threshold required for employees to qualify for the “white collar” exemptions. This signifies another nail in the coffin for the so-called “overtime rule,” which was originally blocked in late November 2016, and has since faced a very uncertain future given the subsequent change in White House leadership.

Texas Federal Court Deals Yet Another Blow to USDOL's Overtime Rule

A federal judge in Texas struck down the controversial Obama-era change to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act that was intended to substantially raise the minimum salary threshold required for employees to qualify for the "white collar" exemptions. This signifies another setback for the so-called "overtime rule". While the decision is favorable to employers, the fate of the Final Rule remains to be seen.

Texas District Court Strikes Down Obama FLSA Exemption Rules

Earlier today, Judge Amos Mazzant of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas issued his final ruling in State of Nevada et al. v. United States Department of Labor, et al. Judge Mazzant granted the Plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment, holding that the Department of Labor exceeded the authority delegated to it by Congress by increasing the minimum salary for the Executive, Administrative, and Professional exemptions under the FLSA to $913 per week.

$47,476 Minimum Salary Struck Down, New Minimum of About $33,000 Expected

By raising the minimum salary threshold for most overtime-exempt employees from $23,660 to $47,476, the US Department of Labor (DOL) would have made an employee's job duties irrelevant, the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas held. This is not what Congress intended when it wrote the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA); therefore, the court ruled that the DOL exceeded its authority by setting the salary level too high.

Overtime Appeal Oral Argument Scheduled for October 3

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit will hold an oral argument in New Orleans on Tuesday, October 3, 2017, in a highly-watched case involving revised overtime regulations that were supposed to become effective last December.

Appeal of DOL Final Overtime Rule Won’t Be Heard Until At Least The Summer

The Fifth Circuit granted the government’s request for additional time to file its final reply brief in the pending appeal of a nationwide injunction issued by a Texas District Court Judge, blocking the DOL’s controversial overtime rule raising the required salary level for the white collar exemptions.

Government Seeks Another Delay on DOL’s Overtime Rule

The government has asked for another delay in submitting its final brief to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals regarding the DOL’s Final overtime rule, which raised the salary level for the white collar exemptions from $23,660 to $47,476. The final reply brief was scheduled to be filed on May 1, 2017, after two earlier requests for an extension. Now the government has asked for an additional 60 days, until June 30, 2017, to file the reply brief.

Fifth Circuit Grants Request to Delay Appeal on Federal Overtime Rule

The appeal regarding the validity of the federal overtime rule will not be fully briefed until May 1, 2017, according to an order issued by the Fifth Circuit on February 22, 2017, granting an unopposed request by the Department of Justice for an extension.

Overtime Appeal Faces Further Delay

So what’s the future of the overtime regulations that were supposed to become effective last December, but then got blocked by a federal judge just before Thanksgiving? It appears that we are going to have to wait a while longer to get any sort of a definitive answer.

Fifth Circuit Grants Government Request for Additional Time to State Position on Overtime Rule

Before the election the Department of Labor asked the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to expedite its appeal regarding the validity of the DOL’s Final Rule, which increased the salary level for the white collar exemptions. Earlier this week, however, following the inauguration of President Trump, the Department of Labor made the opposite request, asking the Court to slow down the process. The DOL asked the Court for additional time to submit its reply brief, currently due January 31, 2017, “to allow incoming leadership personnel adequate time to consider the issues.” The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals granted that request on January 26, 2017, extending the due date for the reply brief to March 2, 2017.

Trump leaves DOL OT rules on life support - For Now

President Trump has had a busy week since his inauguration: ordering construction of a wall, starting to unwind the ACA, arguing with the media about how many people attended his inauguration – the list goes on. One thing that he has not yet gotten to is the U.S. DOL’s stalled overtime exemption rules. Right now the rules remain in limbo, temporarily suspended by order of a U.S. District Court in Texas. That order is now on appeal to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. Earlier this week, the Department of Justice, representing the DOL in the case, asked the 5th Circuit to extend the due date for the government’s brief in the appeal by 30 days “to allow incoming leadership personnel adequate time to consider the issues.” The coalitions of states and business groups opposing the new rules, not surprisingly, did not oppose that request.

Overtime Appeal Faces Uncertainty

Efforts to fast track the appeal of a nationwide preliminary injunction that prevents the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) from implementing drastic proposed revisions to federal overtime regulations just got “Trumped.”

DOL Requests Additional Time to “Consider Issues” Before Filing Reply In Support of Salary Basis Rule

Earlier today, the Department of Labor filed an unopposed motion to extend the deadline for its next submission in support of its appeal of the salary basis rule injunction. The motion for extension requested until March 2, 2017 to submit the Department’s reply brief to the Fifth Circuit, and expressly stated that the extra time is “necessary to allow incoming leadership personnel adequate time to consider the issues.”

Business Associations Support Injunction Blocking Overtime Rule

Sixty business associations that oppose the drastic changes to the overtime rules that were proposed by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) under the Obama administration have filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in support of a preliminary injunction that blocks the revised overtime rules from going into effect.

States Argue That Texas Court Properly Blocked Overtime Rule

In a legal brief filed on January 17, 2017, the 21 states that obtained a nationwide preliminary injunction that blocks the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) from implementing its revisions to overtime rules under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) urged the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to uphold that injunction.

State Plaintiffs Urge Fifth Circuit to Affirm Nationwide Injunction Blocking DOL Overtime Rule

In the latest round in the litigation between 21 States, led by the State of Nevada, and the Department of Labor regarding the Final Rule, the State Plaintiffs filed their appeal brief today with the Fifth Circuit, urging the Court to affirm the district court’s order, which issued a nationwide injunction blocking the rule.

Lower-Court FLSA Salary Litigation Will Proceed

Federal District Judge Amos L. Mazzant has denied the U.S. Department of Labor's request to halt proceedings in his court while it appeals the preliminary injunction he granted preventing salary-related changes in the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's "white collar" exemption requirements from taking effect. In the court's view, USDOL failed to demonstrate that such an extraordinary measure was warranted.

OT Exemption Rules Lawsuit Will Proceed Despite Appeal

Judge Amos Mazzant of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas has decided that he will not halt the lawsuit challenging the U.S. DOL’s new overtime exemption rules pending a ruling from the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals on his earlier order temporarily blocking the rules from taking effect.

The Latest on the Overtime Rule Litigation: District Judge Denies DOL’s Motion to Stay Pending a Ruling by the Court of Appeals

On January 3, 2017, Judge Amos L. Mazzant III issued a Memorandum Opinion and Order in State of Nevada v. United States Department of Labor, denying the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Motion to Stay Proceedings Pending Appeal of the court’s grant of a nationwide preliminary injunction against the new overtime rule. Judge Mazzant had conducted a telephone conference with the parties regarding the motion on December 30, 2016, and had promised to rule by January 3, 2017.

Back to 1981: More Reasonable Salary Levels for the Overtime Regulations

By almost all accounts, the Trump administration, under the leadership of Secretary of Labor-designate Andrew Puzder, should inherit the part 541 regulations of the Obama administration that dramatically increased the salary amount required for the executive, administrative, and professional (EAP) employee exemptions. Hopefully, the Trump administration will make this rule a high priority and initiate a new rulemaking in January of 2017, so it can establish a more reasonable salary level test that complements the duties tests.

Sen. Sanders, Other Members of Congress, File Amicus Brief in Support of DOL Salary Basis Regulation

Sen. Bernie Sanders, along with twenty-five other members of Congress, have filed an amicus brief in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals urging the Court to reverse the injunction issued by a Texas federal judge enjoining enforcement of the Department of Labor’s recent increase to the salary basis threshold for the white collar exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).

Federal Overtime Rule Injunction Calls for State-Level Attention

Many businesses let out a sigh of relief after a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction1 halting the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) final rule increasing the minimum pay requirements for exempt executive, administrative, and professional employees. The preliminary injunction was issued about a week before the rule was scheduled to take effect on December 1, 2016. The preliminary injunction effectively maintains the status quo under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which requires that these employees be paid at least $455 per week to maintain their exemption from the FLSA's minimum wage and overtime requirements.

The Overtime Rule Litigation: The Action Continues While the DOL Appeals

Even though the preliminary injunction against implementation of the overtime rule granted by Judge Mazzant is on a fast track appeal in the Fifth Circuit, the activity in the trial court has not ended.

Labor Department Argues That Texas Court Erred When It Blocked Overtime Rule

On December 15, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) filed the opening brief in its appeal of a nationwide preliminary injunction that blocks the agency from implementing its revisions to overtime rules under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

AFL-CIO Seeks To Intervene In Overtime Rules Court Fight

The pending court fight between the U.S. DOL and a coalition of states and business groups over the new overtime exemption rules will not be resolved before President Obama leaves office in January, even though the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has now granted the DOL’s motion to set an expedited briefing schedule on its appeal from a preliminary district court order blocking the rules from taking effect. While we don’t know for sure what position the Trump administration will take on the new rules, the nomination of fast-food executive Andy Puzder as Secretary of Labor seems to be a pretty clear sign. Puzder has been a vocal critic of the new rule.

Texas AFL-CIO Files Motion to Intervene in DOL Final Rule Lawsuit, Citing Trump Administration’s Anticipated Change of Course

The Texas AFL-CIO recently filed a motion to intervene as a defendant in the action filed against the Department of Labor (DOL) regarding its highly publicized regulation expanding overtime coverage. Fearing the DOL under President-Elect Donald Trump might abandon its appeal to the Fifth Circuit of a nationwide preliminary injunction issued by a Texas District Court judge, the Texas AFL-CIO seeks to defend the Final Rule even if the DOL backs out.

Fifth Circuit Agrees to Fast Track Overtime Appeal

On December 8, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit announced that it will fast track the appeal of a nationwide preliminary injunction that blocks the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) from implementing its revisions to overtime rules under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Fifth Circuit Grants DOL’S Request For Expedited Briefing of Preliminary Injunction Ruling; Case to Be Fully Briefed by January 31, 2017

In a December 8, 2016 Order, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals granted the DOL’s request for expedited briefing of its appeal of the preliminary injunction issued by a district court judge that had enjoined the DOL from implementing its regulation raising the salary level for the white collar exemptions. The Court even set a quicker briefing schedule than DOL had requested in its Motion.

DOL Requests Expedited Ruling on Appeal of Preliminary Injunction, But Appeal Will Not Be Decided Before Trump Administration Under Proposed Schedule

On December 2, one day after filing its appeal of the preliminary injunction blocking its new salary basis regulations, the DOL filed a request for expedited briefing and oral argument in the appeal. The DOL has requested that the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals set an expedited schedule whereby briefing would be complete on February 7, 2017 and oral argument would occur on the first available date thereafter. According to the DOL, the injunction was issued in error because the Fair Labor Standards Act gives the DOL “broad latitude” to issue regulations defining and delimiting the white collar exemptions, including the salary basis test.

DOL Goes for Round Two in Battle Over Salary Hike

The U.S. Department of Labor isn’t taking "no" for an answer on its attempt to hike the minimum salary required for workers with certain duties to remain exempt from overtime. The agency stated today that it "strongly disagrees" with the Texas federal court’s ruling last week that halted the implementation of the salary increase, covered in our November 23 client alert. A notice of appeal has been filed. We don’t know whether this fight will conclude in the court system or whether the DOL will change its course under the new administration. But it looks like things are about to get interesting and we’ll keep you updated along the way.

Labor Department Seeks to Fast Track Overtime Appeal

On December 2, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) filed a motion with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit seeking to fast track the DOL’s appeal of a nationwide preliminary injunction that blocks the agency from implementing its revisions to overtime rules under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

USDOL Appeals Last Week's Exemption Ruling (Updated 12 05 16)

UPDATED 12 05 16: The U.S. Department of Labor has urged the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to grant a shorter-than-usual schedule for briefing and to set oral argument "for the first available date after" all briefs have been filed.

Exemption Rules Appeal Won't Be Resolved Before Obama Leaves Office

It looks like the U.S. Department of Labor’s appeal of the order blocking the new overtime exemption rules won’t be decided before President Obama leaves office. Under the Court of Appeals’ regular rules, the DOL’s opening brief would have been due in mid-January, followed by the response brief 30 days later, and the DOL’s reply 14 days after that, likely taking the briefing process into March. Last Friday, December 2, the DOL filed a motion asking the Court of Appeals to set an expedited briefing schedule, under which the DOL would file its initial brief by December 16, and all briefing would be completed by February 7, 2017. The DOL’s motion further asks the Court of Appeals to set a date for oral argument on “the first available date after close of briefing.”

DOL Appeals Preliminary Injunction Ruling to Fifth Circuit

On December 1, 2016, the Department of Labor appealed the district court’s preliminary injunction ruling. It is expected that the DOL will request the Fifth Circuit to rule on the appeal quickly, but the Fifth Circuit may not grant this request, and the appeal may not be resolved prior to January 20, 2017. If the appeal is not resolved prior to the Trump Administration, the appeal could be withdrawn by the new administration or legislation passed by the new Congress nullifying the DOL regulation.

USDOL Appeals Last Week's Exemption Ruling

The U.S. Department of Labor has filed its notice to appeal last week's preliminary injunction that prevented the salary-related changes in the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's "white collar" exemptions from taking effect today.

Labor Department Announces Intent to Appeal Preliminary Injunction of Overtime Regulations on the Day the Regulations Were to Become Effective

On December 1, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) filed a notice with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit announcing its intent to challenge a Texas district court’s issuance of a nationwide preliminary injunction blocking the implementation of revised overtime regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Ironically, December 1 was supposed to be the effective date for the revised regulations, which would more than double the minimum salary requirements for the FLSA’s major white collar exemptions.

Dec. 1 DOL Overtime Rule Blocked: Now What?

Just days before the Department of Labor’s (DOL) final overtime rule was scheduled to go into effect, a U.S. District Judge in the Eastern District of Texas issued a preliminary injunction, blocking the rule from taking effect across the country. Employers now face a number of legal, practical, and morale issues as they await a final decision in the matter.

DOL Issues Response to Recent Injunction Over Overtime Final Rule

Earlier today, the United States Department of Labor issued a written public response on its website to the injunction issued by Judge Mazzant enjoining the enforcement of its Overtime Final Rule, that was set to become effective on Thursday. The DOL response is set forth below and stated:

OT Aftermath: FAQs On How Employers Should Respond To Overtime Rule Decision

Employers are returning from their Thanksgiving holiday weekend grappling with thorny questions following last week’s surprising and momentous court decision preliminarily blocking the Department of Labor’s overtime rule from taking effect. Here are some answers to your most pressing questions from our firm’s thought leaders on the subject.

The DOL Overtime Salary Regulation is Temporarily Enjoined - Now What?

On Tuesday, November 22, 2016, a federal court in Texas issued a preliminary injunction temporarily barring the Department of Labor from implementing the December 1, 2016 salary rate increase for the white collar overtime exemptions. What will happen next is not certain, and depends in part on the Trump administration reaction after the inauguration. Many employers are considering pulling back previously-announced salary increases and re-classifications. When evaluating this option, employers should consider not only the uncertainty of the law at the federal level, but also state-law limitations on an employer’s ability to change pay terms for at-will employees.1

Obama Appointee Trumps Implementation of DOL's Salary Hike

Since 2014, employers have been preparing for, and many have already communicated or implemented, classification and compensation changes to comply with the U.S. Department of Labor's revised regulations, which would double the minimum salary required for certain exempt employees effective December 1, 2016. For more information concerning the changes, see our May client alert on this topic. Yesterday, a federal judge in Texas issued a nationwide preliminary injunction blocking the DOL from implementing the minimum salary hike from $455 weekly ($23,660 annually) to $913 weekly ($47,476 annually). State of Nevada et al. v. U.S. Department of Labor et al., No. 4:16-cv-731 (E.D.Tex. November 22, 2016).

New White Collar Regulations Blocked by Federal Court: What Do you Do?

Ten days before their December 1 effective date, a federal district court in Texas enjoined enforcement of the regulations increasing the salary level for white collar employees to qualify for the overtime exemption under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Late on November 22, 2016, federal Judge Amos Mazzant (a President Obama appointee) issued a preliminary injunction preventing the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) from enforcing these regulations on a nationwide basis.

Employers are not yet required to pay overtime in accordance with the revised FLSA regs . . . but proceed with caution.

By now, employers know that on November 22, 2016, federal court Judge Amos Mazzant in Texas issued a preliminary injunction that has blocked – temporarily – the implementation of the revised white collar overtime regulations issued by the Department of Labor (DOL) earlier this year. Those regulations, which have been the focus of concern, controversy, and downright panic, were set to become effective on December 1, 2016.

FLSA Salary Changes Halted For Now

Yesterday afternoon, Texas federal District Judge Amos Mazzant preliminarily enjoined the U.S. Labor Department from "implementing or enforcing" the salary-related changes in the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's "white collar" exemptions that were supposed to take effect on December 1. His decision was made in response to an emergency motion by the 21 states that had filed suit seeking to invalidate the Labor Department's actions.

Court Halts Overtime Rule

A federal court has blocked the new overtime rule from the US Department of Labor (DOL).

Texas Judge Blocks New Overtime Rules That Would Have Increased Exempt Salary-level Threshold

Employers have been busily preparing in anticipation of a December 1, 2016 effective date for new federal regulations established by the Department of Labor (the “DOL”) that would have increased the requisite salary level for employees to qualify as exempt from overtime under the so-called white collar exemptions to the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).Yesterday, however, a Texas Judge issued a preliminary injunction blocking the scheduled increase. The injunction, which applies nationwide, was issued in connection with a legal challenge filed by 21 states and numerous business groups in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.

Texas Court Blocks New Federal Overtime Rules

On Nov. 22, 2016, Judge Amos L. Mazzant III of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas issued a preliminary injunction temporarily preventing the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) from implementing and enforcing the DOL’s final rule increasing the minimum salary level necessary to qualify for the executive, administrative and professional exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The injunction prevents the new rule — which was set to take effect on Dec. 1, 2016 — from taking effect.

Federal Court Stops December 1st Implementation of New Overtime Rules

Executive Summary: Employers do not have to make changes to comply with the Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) new overtime regulations by the December 1, 2016 deadline. In a surprising decision, a federal District Court in Texas issued an injunction halting the implementation of the new overtime rules nationwide. If the injunction remains intact when President-elect Trump takes office, it may allow the new administration additional avenues in which to seek to modify, amend or repeal the DOL’s overtime rule, even if further judicial action is not taken to ultimately overturn the regulations.

Texas Court Grants Nationwide Preliminary Injunction Enjoining Department of Labor from Implementing or Enforcing Regulation Raising Salary Level for White Collar Exemptions

When two lawsuits were filed in Texas seeking to block the Department of Labor’s new overtime rule, which more than doubles the required salary level to qualify for the Fair Labor Standards Act “white collar” exemptions, few predicted the lawsuits would be successful. But the polls were wrong (again).

eLABORate: Texas Judge Blocks DOL's New Overtime Rules

A federal judge in the Eastern District of Texas entered a nationwide preliminary injunction yesterday, blocking for now the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) from implementing significant changes to the overtime rules applicable to white collar employees (the “Final Rule”). The Final Rule was set to go into effect on December 1, 2016.

Federal Court Blocks New Overtime Rule

On November 22, 2016, at the request of 22 states and 55 business groups that brought suit as plaintiffs,1 the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas issued a preliminary injunction blocking the U.S. Department of Labor's new rule re-defining which employees are exempt from the minimum wage and overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).2 The new rule—which was set to take effect on December 1, 2016—would have more than doubled the minimum salary level for exempt employees from $455 per week ($23,660 annually) to $913 per week ($47,476 annually). As a practical matter, the impact of this decision by the Texas federal court means that employers do not need to go forward with plans to implement the new rule's requirements in their workplaces.

December 1, 2016 Deadline for Compliance with new Overtime Rules is Now on Hold

In a surprising decision, late Tuesday afternoon a U.S. District Court in Texas granted a nationwide preliminary injunction against implementation of the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) new overtime pay regulations until further order of the court. The regulations were scheduled to go into effect on December 1, 2016.

What Should Employers Do Now That the Overtime Rule Is Blocked?

Now that a federal district court judge has issued a nationwide injunction against the new overtime rules that were to go into effect on December 1, 2016, many employers are asking “what should we do?” Some employers have already prepared to comply with the new regulations and are ready to roll out new payroll practices next month. Do they hold off or press forward?

Texas Judge Temporarily Blocks Overtime Regulations That Were to Become Effective on December 1

On November 22, 2016, a federal court judge in Texas issued a preliminary injunction that temporarily blocks the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) from implementing and enforcing its revised white collar overtime regulations on a national basis. The regulatory revisions, which would more than double the minimum salary requirements for the major white collar exemptions to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), were set to become effective on December 1, 2016.

BLOCKED! Court Preliminarily Halts Overtime Rules With Last-Minute Ruling

In a dramatic last-minute development, a federal judge in Texas today blocked the U.S. Department of Labor’s (USDOL’s) overtime rule from taking effect on December 1, handing an eleventh-hour victory to employers across the country. Agreeing with arguments posed by concerned states and business groups, the judge issued a preliminary injunction preventing the rules from being implemented on a nationwide basis.

New Exemption Rules Blocked - Now What?

Yesterday, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas dealt employers yet another surprise in this season of upsets with its decision in State of Nevada v. U.S. Department of Labor, halting the implementation of the DOL’s new FLSA overtime exemption rules, which were set to take effect December 1, 2016. The rules would have increased the minimum salary for exempt executive, administrative and professional employees from $455 per week to $913 per week, or about $47,476 per year. The court issued a nationwide injunction prohibiting the enforcement of the new salary threshold for exempt employees. As a result of the court’s ruling, the new rules will not take effect on December 1, the prior rules will remain in effect, and the timing of a change in the rules, if any, is completely up in the air.

"Fixed Salaries" And FLSA Overtime: Another Misguidance Alert

Employers designing pay plans for employees who are or will be non-exempt should take care not to be misled by murky U.S. Department of Labor "guidance" published in connection with the coming federal Fair Labor Standards Act exemption changes.

The Minimum Wage in 2017: A Coast-to-Coast Compliance Challenge

Minimum-wage-related actions in 2016 will create challenges for employers starting in 2017. Although 2016 was not necessarily a record year for passage of state minimum wage laws in general, it did break ground concerning the number of tiered and/or regional minimum wage laws enacted. This year was also notable in that Iowa joined the list of states with local minimum wage laws.

Labor Department’s ‘Drastic Change’ to ‘White Collar’ Overtime Exemption Rule Troubles Court

For more than three hours on November 16, 2016, Obama-appointed Judge Amos L. Mazzant, III, of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas – Sherman Division, heard oral argument on the preliminary injunction to block enforcement of the Final Rule. The court peppered both sides with probing questions during the lengthy argument. Based on the argument, whether a preliminary injunction will be issued appears to be a much closer question than earlier predicted.

Breaking News: Federal Judge Hears Overtime Challenge and Promises to Rule Soon

Revised overtime regulations are still scheduled to take effect on December 1, 2016, but an effort to halt them remains alive. Judge Amos L. Mazzant III, a federal judge for the Eastern District of Texas, held a hearing today on a preliminary injunction motion seeking to stop the revised regulations from taking effect nationwide. After vigorous argument on both sides, Judge Mazzant stated at the end of today’s hearing that he is taking the matter under advisement and intends to rule on the preliminary injunction motion by this coming Tuesday, November 22, 2016.

The New Overtime Pay Rule After the Election

Many employers have asked about the potential impact of the election of Donald Trump on the status of the new overtime pay regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which essentially double the minimum salary for most white-collar exemptions to $913 per week (equal to $47,476 annually). While President-elect Trump is expected to pursue policies that are more business-friendly than those of President Obama, employers still need to be prepared to meet the overtime rule’s compliance deadline of December 1, 2016.

Did the DOL Salary Basis Regulations Just Get Trumped?

The U.S. Department of Labor regulations raising the required salary level for the white collar exemptions (executive, administrative, and professional) under the Fair Labor Standards Act are scheduled to become effective December 1, 2016.

Three-Weeks to the Overtime Effective Date: Communicate With Employees Regarding Planned Compensation Changes, Overtime Eligibility

Only three weeks remain until the U.S. Department of Labor’s revised overtime regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) become effective. With the December 1, 2016, compliance deadline rapidly approaching, employers need to be communicating with employees who will be affected by the overtime changes. In addition, following Tuesday’s surprising presidential election results, employers also should consider refining their communications to take into account potential contingencies.

FLSA Exemption Changes: Do The Election Results Mean, "Never Mind"?

Many employers are wondering whether Donald Trump's election means that they may now forget about the coming changes in the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's "white collar" definitions.

What Will The Trump Administration Mean for Wage and Hour Law?

This is a post I certainly didn’t expect to be writing even 12 hours ago, but now that the results of the election are clear, it’s time to give some thought to what lies ahead under the forthcoming Trump administration. Details will of course start to emerge over the next couple of months, but I have a few early predictions about what employers should and should not expect.

Thirty Days to Go – Are Your Employee Classifications In Order?

As we have reported over the last couple of months, there have been recent attempts by business groups and states to block the U.S. DOL’s new overtime exemption rule from taking effect on December 1, 2016. Despite these efforts, no court has yet to issue any ruling.

30 Days to Comply with the DOL’s New Overtime Rules: Are You Ready?

Is your organization ready for this change or are you in panic mode? In this podcast you will hear from Littler principal Tammy McCutchen who has been closely monitoring these developments and served as the Department of Labor wage and hour administrator the last time the overtime regulations were revised. Tammy shares her wealth of knowledge and answers frequently asked questions about the Final Rule including:

Got Questions About the New FLSA Overtime Rules? We’ve Got Answers

Barring a last-minute legislative change or court injunction, we’re now just a month away from when the new Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime rules take effect on December 1.

New FLSA Overtime Regulations Face Legal Challenges

As employers know, the final rule updating the federal overtime regulations was published in May 2016 and is scheduled to take effect December 1, 2016. The biggest impact of the new rules is the huge increase in the minimum salary required to qualify as exempt from overtime under the FLSA’s executive, administrative, and professional exemptions. Under the new rules, the minimum salary to qualify for exempt status is $47,476 (more than double the existing minimum) and is subject to further automatic increase on January 1, 2020 and every three years thereafter. Industry groups have voiced strong opposition to the new rules, prompting members of Congress to introduce legislation seeking to delay implementation of the new rules by six months. The House passed one such bill, HR 6094. A similar bill has been introduced in the Senate. However, President Obama has already vowed to veto these bills should they reach his desk.

Blocking the New Overtime Salary Threshold? Hearing on Request for an Injunction Scheduled for November

A hearing has been scheduled for November 16, 2016 in a Texas federal court to decide whether an injunction will be issued to block the substantially increased salary threshold to qualify as exempt under the new overtime rule, which is anticipated to take effect on December 1, 2016.

Adapting to the New Department of Labor's Final Rule

The Department of Labor (DOL) Final Rule promulgated new regulations that went into effect on December 1, 2016. All employers need to know how these regulations have changed the test for exemption to understand what they need to do in response. This article will review the basics for the most common exemptions from overtime under Federal law and will also provide an executive summary of the key changes made by the Final Rule.

Court Will Consider States' Request to Pause FLSA Overtime Rule

A federal court on October 17 agreed to hear a motion filed by 21 states asking the court to temporarily suspend upcoming overtime rules from the US Department of Labor (DOL).

Business Groups Ask Court To Expedite Ruling On Overtime Exemption Rules

In our last post we reported that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and fifty-plus other business groups suing to block the U.S. DOL’s overtime exemption rule from taking effect had not yet moved to expedite the court’s ruling on the case, making it unlikely that the court would issue any sort of ruling before the rules take effect on December 1, 2016. Well, now they have. In a motion for expedited summary judgment filed Friday October 14, the business groups are now asking the court to rule on the merits of their case on the same timetable as is set for its hearing of the motion for preliminary injunction in the parallel lawsuit being pursued by a coalition of 21 states. On Monday, the business groups followed up with a motion asking the court to consolidate their case with the parallel state lawsuit. According to the motion, the states and the DOL do not oppose consolidating the cases.

States Seek Preliminary Injunction Blocking New Overtime Rules

On September 20 we reported about a lawsuit by 21 states seeking to block the U.S. DOL’s new overtime exemption rules. This week, the states followed up their complaint by filing an Emergency Motion for Preliminary Injunction, asking the court to block enforcement of the new rule pending a final ruling on the states’ claims. According to the court’s docket no hearing date has been set.

The Looming December 1 Implementation Date for the Overtime Regs: Do Recent Challenges Mean a New Effective Date?

One question being asked by employers on a nearly daily basis is, “Do we really have to meet the December 1, 2016 effective deadline for the revisions to the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) overtime regulations?” The short answer is: Yes.

December 1, 2016 implementation date for overtime regs remains unchanged. Are you ready?

One question is being asked by employers on a nearly daily basis: “Do we really have to meet the December 1, 2016 effective deadline for the revisions to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) overtime regulations?” Short answer is: Yes.

Tolerating Poor Performance Can Bolster Exemption Challenges

Employers generally appreciate the importance of promptly, effectively, and consistently addressing an employee's inadequate performance. Not doing so can adversely affect productivity and workplace morale, can establish bad precedent, and can make future discipline problematic.

Lawmakers Introduce Legislation to Phase In New Overtime Exemption Regulations

A group of Democratic lawmakers (yes, you read that right) have introduced legislation aimed at easing the sting of the new federal overtime exemption regulations that currently are slated to take effect December 1, 2016. Under the new regulations, the minimum annual salary to qualify for exempt status increases over 100% from $23,660 to $47,476. Under proposed legislation dubbed the Overtime Reform and Enhancement Act, implementation of the new overtime regulations would be revised to gradually phase in the salary increase over three years, beginning with a 50% increase to $35,984 effective December 1, 2016. In subsequent years, the minimum salary threshold would increase as follows:

Share FAQs on the Final Overtime Regulations

On May 18, the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division released the new final overtime rule. The new minimum salary level for the executive, administrative, and professional employee exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) will be $913 per week, or $47,476 per year, under final regulations. This new salary threshold—which will become effective on December 1, 2016—more than doubles the current minimum salary level of $455 per week, or $23,660 per year and will have a dramatic impact on employers. Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about the new rule.

Is proposed legislation likely to slow the implementation of the new overtime regulations? Probably not.

On May 18, 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced the publication of a final rule, updating its existing overtime regulations. The updated regulations are scheduled to become effective on December 1 of this year and are predicted to extend overtime pay protections to over 4 million workers within the first year of implementation. The updates include a provision under which employees are eligible for overtime compensation if they work over 40 hours in a week and earn less than $47,476 per year – an over 100% increase from the current salary threshold of $23,660.

Gig Employer Heartburn: Challenge to GrubHub’s Classification System Continues

A putative class action case, alleging that online food delivery service GrubHub misclassified its drivers, has survived a motion to dismiss and will proceed in California federal court. Noting that GrubHub’s view of the facts may ultimately prevail, U.S. Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley said that at this stage, the drivers’ pleadings gave rise to “plausible inference” that they should not have been classified as independent contractors, and thus may have impermissibly been denied minimum wage and overtime pay.

Will the DOL’s Final Rule Amending Overtime Regulations for ‘White Collar’ Workers Apply to Puerto Rico?

On the same day the U.S. Department of Labor released its Final Rule updating regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) governing overtime exemptions for executive, administrative, and professional employees (commonly known as the “white collar exemptions” or “EAP exemptions”), a bill was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives that would delay implementation of the Final Rule in Puerto Rico for at least two years after enactment of the bill, until certain conditions are met. (For details on the Final Rule, see our article, Labor Department Announces Final Rule Amending Overtime Regulations for ‘White Collar’ Workers.)

U.S. Department of Labor Publishes Final Rule on FLSA Overtime Regulations

On May 18, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor published its Final Rule updating the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) overtime regulations regarding the executive, administrative and professional exemptions (the “FLSA White Collar Exemptions”). The Final Rule does not make any changes to the outside sales or computer professional exemptions.

U.S. Department of Labor Publishes Final Rule on FLSA Overtime Regulations

On May 18, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor published its Final Rule updating the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) overtime regulations regarding the executive, administrative and professional exemptions (the “FLSA White Collar Exemptions”). The Final Rule does not make any changes to the outside sales or computer professional exemptions.

Employment Law Update - Changes to the Overtime Pay Rules are Here

On May 18, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued its final rule on changes to four exemptions to the overtime pay requirement of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA): the executive, administrative, and professional (EAP) exemptions and the highly compensated employee exemption.

New Rules Announced: $47,476 Minimum Salary, Effective 12/1/2016

Late yesterday the White House and Department of Labor released key details of the new FLSA overtime exemption rules for white collar workers. The final rules themselves have just been released this morning. We are still digesting 500-plus page final rules, but the key points are as follows:

Senator Lamar Alexander to Introduce Resolution to Block Labor Department’s Overtime Rule

Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) has announced that he will soon introduce a Congressional Review Act resolution to block implementation of the Department of Labor’s final overtime rule. (For details of the Final Rule, see our article, Labor Department Announces Final Rule Amending Overtime Regulations for ‘White Collar’ Workers.)

How Will the New Overtime Regulations Affect Healthcare Employers?

The long-awaited U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) regulations on the “white collar” exemptions are finally here. As per the regulations, which are to be issued on May 18, 2016, the new minimum salary level for the executive, administrative, and professional employee exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) will be $913 per week, or $47,476 per year. This new salary threshold—which will become effective on December 1, 2016—more than doubles the current minimum salary level of $455 per week, or $23,660 per year, and will have a dramatic impact on all employers, including those in the healthcare industry.

DOL's Final Rule Expands Overtime Eligibility for Millions of Workers

Executive Summary: Today, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) will publish its long-awaited Final Rule amending the "white collar" exemption tests for executive, administrative, and professional employees (located in 29 CFR Part 541) under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). These new regulations increase the threshold minimum salary to $913 per week ($47,476 annually), doubling the annual salary previously required for an employee to be considered exempt from overtime under the FLSA's white collar exemptions. The regulations also increase the minimum salary threshold under the "highly-compensated" exemption to $134,004 annually. Although the Final Rule does not change the current duties test, it contains a mechanism to automatically adjust the minimum salary thresholds every three years. The regulations are to become effective by December 1, 2016.

U.S. Department of Labor Publishes Final Rule on FLSA Overtime Regulations

On May 18, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor published its Final Rule updating the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) overtime regulations regarding the executive, administrative and professional exemptions (the “FLSA White Collar Exemptions”). The Final Rule does not make any changes to the outside sales or computer professional exemptions.

New Exemption Rules Finally Arrive: Employers Should Prepare For The Impact

The U.S Labor Department (USDOL) has finally released the anxiously awaited revised regulations affecting certain kinds of employees who may be treated as exempt from the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's (FLSA) overtime and minimum-wage requirements. These will be published officially on May 23, 2016.

Continued Controversy Surrounding The Proposed New Overtime Rule

Since June, we have written a number of posts covering the Department of Labor’s proposed new overtime rule (see our posts here), and the more than doubling of the salary level threshold for white collar exempt positions. The proposed increase in the salary threshold was quite polarizing and resulted in nearly 300,000 comments.

House Members Oppose Exemption Changes

Some members of the U.S. House of Representatives have written to Labor Secretary Labor Tom Perez to express concerns about the U.S. Labor Department's proposed revisions in its regulatory definitions of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's Section 13(a)(1) exemptions.

DOL Issues Guidance on Joint Employment under FLSA

The Department of Labor's Wage & Hour Division (WHD) has issued an Administrator's Interpretation (AI)1 establishing new standards for determining joint employment under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSPA). While it remains to be seen how much deference will be accorded such sub-regulatory guidance,2 the WHD will likely use the AI as justification for charging a greater number of employers with violations of these statutes on the grounds they are joint employers with the offending entity.

Finalized Exemption Changes By Spring 2016?

The U.S. Labor Department is looking to a spring 2016 date for publishing the "Final Rule" revising the regulations defining the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's Section 13(a)(1) exemptions according to a recent report. It appears that USDOL is again revising its stated timeframe to come more in line with the timeframe we previously anticipated. Stakeholders speculate that an earlier date could help ensure that any Congressional Review Act challenge is resolved under President Obama.

Quick Quiz Answer: Part-Time Exempt Status November 13, 2015 03:43

The answer to our November 6, 2015 Quick Quiz is, "No". Under the new arrangement, Bigtown Computer Corporation could not continue to treat Tom as being exempt from the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's minimum-wage and overtime requirements.

Quick Quiz: Part-Time Exempt Status

Tom is the Department Manager for Bigtown Computer Corporation's ten-employee Research and Development department. Bigtown treats him as being exempt from the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's minimum-wage and overtime requirements, and Tom's actual duties and responsibilities as a full-time employee clearly meet all of the requirement's for the FLSA's executive exemption. Bigtown also pays Tom bi-weekly on a salary basis at a rate of $850 a week.

New FLSA Regulations Released, Salary Threshold Doubled

Since last spring, we have been following developments in the oft-delayed Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulations rewrite by the Department of Labor (DOL). The Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) has now completed its review, and the Department of Labor finally released its new Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulations today. The official DOL notice and the FAQs are posted on the DOL website.

Exemption Proposals Apparently Still Under Review

It has been widely anticipated that the U.S. Labor Department's proposed new definitions for the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's Section 13(a)(1) executive, administrative, professional, outside-sales, and derivative exemptions would be officially published this week (if not today).

Projected Impact of the Upcoming Overtime Rules On Retail and Hospitality

As we await the issuance of new federal overtime regulations, employers in the retail and hospitality industries may be interested in the recent National Retail Federation (NRF) report, “Rethinking Overtime.” The NRF report includes the results of a study conducted by Oxford Economics (a leading global economic consultancy firm founded with Oxford University), which looked at the projected impact of the anticipated overtime rules on the retail and hospitality industries. Among the key findings in the study is that the overtime proposal under consideration could cost the retail and hospitality sectors billions of dollars in added costs and would disproportionally impact businesses operating in rural states, where there is a larger percentage of currently exempt employees who will be subject to the overtime rules as a result of the coming changes.

Moving Exempt Employees to Non-Exempt Status [Wage & Hour FAQs]

We discuss the misclassification of non-exempt employees regularly here on the blog and in our presentations at conferences and webinars, but a reader of the blog wrote me before the holiday weekend to ask about the reverse situation.

FLSA Exemption Revisions Sent To OMB (Updated 05 08 15: Proposals To Be Out By June 18)

U.S. Secretary of Labor Tom Perez has announced that proposed new definitions for the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's Section 13(a)(1) executive, administrative, professional, outside-sales, and derivative exemptions have been submitted to the federal Office of Management and Budget to seek its approval for their release for public comment.

FLSA Exemption Revisions Sent To OMB

U.S. Secretary of Labor Tom Perez has announced that proposed new definitions for the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's Section 13(a)(1) executive, administrative, professional, outside-sales, and derivative exemptions have been submitted to the federal Office of Management and Budget to seek its approval for their release for public comment.

DOL Sends New FLSA Regulations to OIRA for Final Review Before Draft Publication

Since last spring, we have been following developments in the oft-delayed Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulations rewrite by the Department of Labor (DOL). Yesterday, we received word that the DOL has completed a draft of the new regulations and sent them to the Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) for review. On Tuesday, Perez wrote in a DOL blog post, “We’ve worked diligently over the last year to develop a proposed rule that answers the President’s directive and captures input from a diverse range of stakeholders. After extensive research, study and careful analysis, we have submitted the proposed rule to the Office of Management and Budget for review. In the near future, the public will have an opportunity to weigh in and help us craft a final rule.” The submission of the new draft regulations to OIRA is the final step before the DOL officially releases the new regulations as a Notice of Proposed Rule Making for public comment.

DOL "Springs" Its Part 541 Proposal for Review

On Tuesday, May 5, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced that it had sent its draft proposed part 541 overtime regulations to the Office of the Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) at the Office of Management and Budget for review. President Obama signed a presidential memorandum on March 13, 2014, directing the Secretary of Labor to revise the Part 541 overtime regulations that define the executive, administrative, professional, outside sales, and computer employee exemptions from overtime and minimum wage requirements contained in section 13(a)(1) of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The DOL last revised these Part 541 regulations in 2004.

FLSA Exemption Changes: More On Salaried-Employee Alternatives

Our April 27 post gave an example of how to reduce the financial impact of a previously-exempt employee's becoming subject to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's overtime requirement.

FLSA Exemption Changes: Some Compensation Alternatives For Salaried Employees

No one knows when the U.S. Labor Department will eventually implement revised definitions of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's Section 13(a)(1) exemptions (we have covered these developments earlier). But whenever this happens, the new regulations are likely to:

Overtime Changes Threaten the Exempt Status of Retail and Hospitality Managers

The National Retail Federation’s (NRF) Committee on Employment Law held its spring meeting last week, and one of the hottest topics on the minds of the attendees concerned the impact that the U.S. Department of Labor’s proposed changes to the overtime regulations would have on retail and hospitality industry employers. As we explained in a recent post, “Supreme Court Eliminates Notice-and-Comments for Some Agency Interpretations,"

Insurance Industry Wins Temporary FLSA Exemption for Insurance Adjusters in CRomnibus

On Tuesday, we discussed Congress’s passage of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015, nicknamed CRomnibus in the waning days of the 2014 legislative session. The omnibus spending bill avoided another government shutdown and funded most federal agencies (save for the Department of Homeland Security) through the end of the federal government's fiscal year on September 30, 2015. As we discussed, the DOL—which earned funding increases across the board—and the trucking industry—which earned a temporary reprieve from maximum hours-of-service regulations—both came out big winners. However, we note that the insurance industry also benefitted from a provision tucked into the DOL appropriations in CRomnibus.

FLSA Overtime, Minimum Wage Lawsuits Continue to Skyrocket

My colleagues and I talk regularly about the ever-increasing number of wage and hour cases alleging violations of minimum wage and overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). These cases aren’t going away, which means that I will probably have plenty to blog about over the next year. According to PACER, litigants filed a total of 8,119 FLSA cases between May 1, 2013 and April 30, 2014. For comparison purposes, from May 1, 2012 to April 30, 2013, plaintiffs filed 7,388 FLSA cases. That is an increase of10%, breaching not only the 7,500 case mark, but also the 8,000 case mark for the first time. Just for reference, PACER reports just 3,456 FLSA cases were filed a decade ago between May 2003 and April 2004. Part of this increase is due in part to Plaintiffs, Plaintiffs’ attorneys and the government (Secretary Perez’s administration alone brought nearly 160 cases last year) being both more familiar with workers’ rights under the FLSA and more aggressive in defending those rights.

November Target For Proposed Exemption Changes

As we reported previously, in March President Obama directed the U.S. Labor Department to "modernize and streamline" its regulations governing the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's Section 13(a)(1) executive, administrative, professional, and "outside salesman" exemptions. Among other things, he has instructed USDOL to "consider how the regulations could be revised to update existing protections consistent with the intent of the Act . . .."

What Do Dinosaurs and Your Salaried Employees Have In Common?

Increasing the minimum wage for federal contractors is not the only change President Obama is looking to make to federal wage and hour laws. Recently, the President signed a Presidential Memorandum directing the federal Department of Labor to modernize regulations governing the executive, administrative, and professional exemptions from minimum wage and overtime.

How To Calculate Unpaid Overtime, The Sequel: Fifth Circuit Rejects FWW Method In Misclassification Cases

In Black v. SettlePou P.C., the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a district court’s ruling concerning the proper methodology for calculating damages when an employee is misclassified as exempt. In so doing, the Fifth Circuit departed from what was considered to be settled precedent after its own opinion in Ransom v. Patel Enterprises, Incorporated, decided just 56 days before SettlePou.

"Extra" Pay And Overtime Headaches

A recent $4 million settlement between the U.S. Labor Department and a Texas healthcare employer highlights a recurring overtime issue under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.

Legal Alert: Undocumented Workers Who Are "Off the Clock" or "Off the Books" Are Still Subject to the FLSA

Executive Summary: In Lucas v. Jerusalem Café, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit held that undocumented workers are entitled to recover for unpaid overtime and minimum wage violations under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (the "FLSA").

Will Comp Time Become a Reality for the Private Sector?

On May 8, the House of Representatives passed a bill that would allow private sector employers to offer hourly workers the option of taking compensatory (“comp”) time in lieu of paid overtime. The bill seeks to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act to allow private sector employers to offer comp time at a rate of 1.5 hours per hour of overtime worked instead of paying cash wages at time-and-a-half the employee’s regular rate for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek.

IRS Expands Eligibility for Misclassification Amnesty Program

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced expanded eligibility for its Voluntary Classification Settlement Program (VCSP). Some of the changes are permanent, while others are temporary.

Courts Aren't Buying USDOL's "Service Writer", "Service Advisor" Comments

In April 2011, the U.S. Labor Department disavowed its 24-year-long acknowledgment that the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's Section 13(b)(10)(A) overtime exemption applies to automobile-dealership employees doing the typical work of service writers, service advisors, etc. Instead, USDOL seemed to embrace the view that the absence of a literal reference to these kinds of employees in Section 13(b)(10)(A)'s "salesman, partsman, or mechanic" formulation meant that they are subject to the FLSA's overtime requirement.

Family Dollar Settles Store Manager Overtime Claim

On September 12, 2012, Family Dollar announced that it will pay up to $14 million to settle a class action in the Southern District of New York. Similar to other class actions filed against Family Dollar over the years, New York store managers claimed that the Company failed to pay them overtime. Although the agreement has not yet been finalized, the proposed settlement would affect more than 1,700 store managers in New York who are covered by the certified class.

Can Employees Agree to Be Exempt? [Wage & Hour FAQs]

Our employees consider themselves "professionals" and don't want to be treated as hourly workers. If our employees agree to it, can we still treat them as "exempt" even if they don't meet all of the requirements under the FLSA or state law?

Recent Settlements Agreeing to Pay Overtime for Misclassification of Employees

Misclassification of employees continues to bring a lot of headaches to employers. I have worked with a wide variety of businesses on this issue – from Fortune 500 to “mom and pop” companies. Each has its own way of doing things in this area and monitoring classification compliance is pretty low on the to-do list.

Ten Things Small Business Needs To Know About Minimum Wage and Overtime

I read the stories every day: some small business, often a local restaurant or a similar "mom and pop" operation, gets sued or tagged by the Department of Labor for failing to pay minimum wages and overtime to employees. Here's just one example.

Possible Misclassification of Employees Costs Novartis $99 Million

Swiss pharmaceutical manufacturer Novartis thought it was playing by the rules when it treated its sales representatives as exempt from overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Novartis’ experience shows what can happen when companies follow industry standards without independently assessing if the law supports the longstanding industry practice.

Pharmaceutical Sales Representative Case Goes to Supreme Court

In a previous post in August, I questioned whether the pharmaceutical companies were losing the exemption battle as it related to pharmaceutical sales representatives and the outside sales exemption.

The FLSA's "Remedial Training" Overtime Exception

Many employers find nowadays that at least some workers are unable to read, write, or do simple arithmetic beyond the lowest levels (if at all). Management wants to give the employees mandatory training in these areas, but not if that means incurring overtime costs when the instructional time causes the employees' hours worked to exceed 40 in a workweek. But, under the right circumstances, there is a little-known way to increase employees' basic academic abilities without having to pay FLSA overtime premium for the time they spend learning.

Efforts To Curtail The FLSA's "Companionship" Exemption Possibly Moving To The Regulatory Arena.

In late June, we noted legislation introduced in the Senate and in the House of Representatives that would essentially repeal the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's Section 13(a)(15) "companionship" exemption in any practical sense. U.S. Labor Department regulations and interpretations elaborate upon how and to whom the exemption may be applied.

Quick Quiz: Paid-Time-Off And The "Salary Basis"

Alice performs work meeting the duties requirements for the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's administrative exemption. She usually works 50 hours in five days each workweek. She is paid a weekly salary of $950. Alice is eligible for five paid days off each year, and she has three days left.

Recovering Losses From EXEMPT Employees

Our recent Quick Quiz Answer on recovering losses from non-exempt employees has caused some to ask whether the same analysis applies to employees who are treated as exempt under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's executive, administrative, or professional exemption (including the "computer employee" and "highly compensated employee" versions).

Quick Quiz Answer: FLSA "Salary Basis" Of Pay

The answer to our January 31 Quick Quiz is "No": Furniture World's policy does not destroy the "salary basis" required for Robin's exempt status under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. This will be true even if management disciplines or discharges Robin for refusing to make-up the time she missed.

Quick Quiz: FLSA "Salary Basis" of Pay

Robin is in charge of the 50-employee Shipping Department at Furniture World. She is treated as an exempt "executive" employee under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, including that she is paid a salary of $950 per week. Furniture World adopts a policy that all supervisory employees:

Court Clarifies Overtime Damages For Misclassified Employees

Courts and litigants have struggled over how to figure overtime due to employees who were misclassified as exempt and who were paid a fixed salary for their hours worked. The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires that non-exempt employees be paid 1.5 times their regular hourly rates for hours worked over 40 in a workweek. But for a misclassified salaried employee, satisfying this requirement necessitates a couple of threshold determinations.

Retail Industry: How Did They Manage? Part One.

The jury said Family Dollar store managers did not "manage" the stores. A federal appeals court affirmed the $35.5 million overtime verdict. Take steps now to minimize the risk of this happening to your business.

Misclassifying Employees Proves to Be an Expensive Mistake.

A Massachusetts temporary-services company specializing in technical and manufacturing staff has learned a $1.8M lesson about the perils of erroneously classifying employees as exempt under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.

Exempt or Non-Exempt? The Answer Isn't Always Easy.

Since 2001, the Labor Department's Wage and Hour Division has recovered over $1.25 billion in back wages. That's not a typo. Last year alone, the Department recovered $220,613,703 in back wages, a record, which represented a nearly 70% increase in back wage recovery since 2001.
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